“Hands up, don’t shoot.”
They were the words that fueled racial outrage in Ferguson, Missouri, following the shooting death of unarmed African-American teen Michael Brown by former Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson, a Caucasian.
Riots and unrest sieged the city as a result of what witnesses said were Michael Brown’s final words to Wilson before he was killed in the street. Some reports even said that Wilson had fired on Brown as he was walking away.
But then, the autopsy happened, and much of what was being reported from both witnesses and news organizations turned out to be false.
The last hope the “hands up, don’t shoot” movement had of righting a perceived wrong was the Department of Justice (DOJ), but this week, USA Today reports, Attorney General Eric Holder concluded that there was no evidence to prove that the iconic final moments ever happened.
Furthermore, Holder found that Officer Wilson was justified in feeling threatened by the teen, who was taller and 80 pounds heavier than Wilson, and who, it turns out, had assaulted the officer while he was still sitting in his police cruiser with the window rolled down.
In the report, Holder complimented the “sound, considered and independent judgment of the expert career prosecutors within the Department of Justice” and said that he agreed with “the investigative team’s judgment and the determination about our inability to meet the required federal standard,” regarding proof of Wilson’s guilt.
As to the shooting, the AG noted that numerous witnesses had said Brown “posed a threat” to Wilson and that according to the witnesses, “who are corroborated by blood evidence in the roadway, Wilson fired at Brown in what appeared to be self-defense and stopped firing once Brown fell to the ground.”
On Wednesday, Megyn Kelly of Fox News took democratic strategist Mark Hannah to task for what she felt was his skirting the issue of the fact that Wilson’s reputation was ruined on the basis of a lie.
Hannah noted that the report showed the Ferguson PD to be at fault for how it handled issues of race in the past, though it did, in fact, exonerate Wilson, pointing out that “there is a broad pattern of racist policing that gives all cops a bad name.”
Kelly came close to losing it at this point.
“So that justifies this, Mark? What we saw, all these folks with their ‘hands up, don’t shoot,’ which did not happen?”
Kelly felt that Wilson was owed an apology for his conviction in the court of public opinion and for being pressured out of his job with the Ferguson PD.
Do you think any media outlet, politician, and protester, who used the “Hands up, don’t shoot” mantra now owes Wilson an apology as Kelly has indicated? Should Wilson be reinstated to the Ferguson PD? Sound off in the comments section.